Perfect weekend for CIYMS

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones

CIYMS couldn’t have wished for a better weekend as they recorded three victories in as many days in three different competitions.

On Friday night they marched past Instonians to seal their place in the Twenty20 Cup final before progressing to the Gallagher Challenge Cup semi-final one day later with a seven-wicket triumph against Carrickfergus.

Waringstown were the visitors to Belmont on Sunday in the Premier League and Nigel Jones’ side cruised to what was a comfortable seven-wicket victory in the end with Jacob Mulder finishing 59* as the defending champions reached their target of 149 with eight overs to spare.

“We knew Instonians would be a challenging side but we focused on ourselves,” said Jones.

“We got a good convincing win against them and it gave us confidence going into Saturday’s match against Carrick.

“That was the fourth time we had played Carrick already so we had a lot of confidence if we could keep their professional and CJ (van der Walt), and they were missing Ryan Eagleson, so we knew their slow options probably contain us.

“Against Waringstown, I think not having the fear factor having beaten them twice in the league last season helps. We know they are a strong side, but equally we have a belief that if we play good cricket we will get the right result.”

Chris Dougherty was the star performer with the bat after following his 78 against Instonians up with a man-of-the-match 111* on Saturday against Carrick. The wicketkeeper has been in superb form so far this season, and Jones says he plays a crucial role within the side.

“He is the anchor of our team and he allows us to bat around him,” he added.

“We have stroke makers from 2-9 so we have a luxury there, but equally we need to get our tempo right and having someone like Doc means he can relax and sit in and bat.

“When he gets that selfish batsman head on it helps the team and he will catch up, and it’s just important he bats deep. I think he really enjoys that role and hopefully his form continues.”

Mulder usually bats in the middle order and provides attacking intent towards the end of innings, but a promotion to number three brought the best out of him on Sunday.

“With the way the wicket was playing at the back end of their innings, we didn’t want to get bogged down chasing a low total,” said Jones.

“We said we would send him in if we lost a wicket in the first six overs and he didn’t let the scoreboard settle. When I joined him, it was just about being proactive and settling in.

“The boys are accepting that it’s horses for courses and it’s team first, and that’s the way you have to be.”

CIYMS have maintained their unbeaten start to their league title defence and it is hard to see who will end it given their tremendous strength in depth.

They are now four points clear of their rivals and have a further match in hand to play.

“It’s been a rivalry that we have had over the past couple of seasons and credit to them they are a very strong team,” added Jones.

“For us, we knew if we could put our best foot forward it gives us confidence to keep marching forward.”